alexandrapatrick’s food photography tips

Top food photography tips!

raspberry choux


  1. Be prepared. Make sure you have everything to hand before you start shooting. There’s nothing worse than having a beautifully plated shot only to realise you don’t have the garnish to complete the picture.

  2. Shoot seasonal produce whenever possible. Asparagus from Chile shot in December can’t hold a candle to its English counterpart in June. The fresher and more authentic the product the better it will look. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.

  3. Only use natural light. Never use flash – it makes food look horrid! Position your food by a large window, ideally north facing. If it’s too bright, diffuse the light with a white curtain. If you’re shooting outside (especially food that’s still growing) avoid the middle of the day in summer. Shoot early and late for a lovely soft light.

  4. Think about light. We always set the plate so that the light falls across the food from left to right – in the same way that you read a page. Get hold a few small mirrors and some white card. Use them to bounce the light around the plate and fill in shadows. Experiment until you find a look that suits you.

  5. Get hold of a spray bottle and some glycerin. Mix it with water and spray it on fruit and salads to give it the just picked, dew on the leaf look. You can also apply it by brush to meat products to give it a lustrous feel.

  6. Get in close. Use the close up setting on your compact camera (usually a flower symbol) or invest in a macro lens for your DSLR. Close-up food photography has the greatest visual impact and your camera will pick up fine detail missed by your eye – you’ll be amazed at what you see on-screen. But…

  7. Take care with presentation. Stray hairs, bits of unwanted food and a streaky plate will be magnified when you get in close. Distracting details like this will spoil an otherwise top quality image so do look carefully before firing the shutter.

  8. Shoot loads. Experiment. Walk around the food and keep firing the shutter from different angles. If you’ve followed the tips above and got the light right then it’s a numbers game. The more you shoot the greater the chance of that killer image.

  9. Work quickly. Food loses its lustre and fresh from the oven appeal very quickly. Get everything in place and shoot a plate of dummy food to get the light and exposure just right. Then you won’t waste time with the real thing.

  10. Have fun! You’re shooting food because you love food. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing this will be reflected in your photography.

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